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Cambridge incubator invests in UK photonic processor startup

Business news |
By Peter Clarke


Deeptech Labs included another AI oriented company in its Spring 2021 cohort. That was Circuit Mind Ltd. (London, England), a 2018 startup trying to apply AI to the design of PCBs and electronic systems (see AI-for-EDA startup raises funds from Cambridge ‘accelerator’).

For both companies the adoption by Deeptech Labs means they receive £350,000 in pre-seed funding and a 13-week course of mentoring that is intended to be able to help them gain additional venture capital funds.

Salience Labs was co-founded by Vaysh Kewada, who serves as CEO; Crescenzo D’Allessandro, chief architect; Johannes Feldmann, CTO; and Professor Harish Baskaran of Oxford University.

Salience is thought to be developing a hybrid photonic-electronic IC for AI processing. A photonic tensor processing unit (TPU) could be modulated at up to 100GHz and allows for massive parallelization through multiplexing. According to reports the photonic unit is being designed into an SoC to address AI inference. The technology is based on research collaboration between Oxford University and the University of Münster, Germany.

D’Allessandro was previously a senior CPU architect for Huawei Technologies R&D in the UK and before that spent three years at Sondrel and prior to that seven years with Imagination Technologies. CTO Feldmann is conducting post-doctoral research at Oxford University on photonic computing using phase-change materials. Feldmann gained his first degrees at the University of Münster.

Deeptech Labs was set up with the help of ARM, Cambridge University and Cambridge Innovation Capital.

Salience Labs is a couple of years behind a couple of spin-offs from Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Lightelligence Inc. and Lightmatter Inc.— both formed to create optical processors and which have been through an incubation process and raised significant funds.

Related links and articles:

www.dtl.vc

www.saliencelabs.ai

www.circuitmind.io

News articles:

AI-for-EDA startup raises funds from Cambridge ‘accelerator’

Optical processing platform outperforms GPU

Optical processor startup raises $80 million in Series B

Lightelligence joins incubator with optical AI demo in hand


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